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Why is it important for our students to have an understanding and appreciation of religion and spirituality?

Religion has been, and continues to be part of a common human experience. Groups of people create religions to help explain the unexplainable and give meaning to life. The belief and value systems provided by religion have been used to connect the people within communities. People often use religion to influence the web of meaning and strategies created to manage their lives. Beyond the community, religions also influence relationships between societies. Belief systems can bring people together for peaceful pursuits or be used as an excuse to bring violence on one another. Religion can create love and, although unintentionally, animosity. Differences between people are often created by religion, where understanding and appreciating these differences will allow people and communities to become respectful and tolerant. For the global community to go forward, we must have a greater understanding of the beliefs and values of the diverse religions of our world.

The goal of this module is to help the students:

  1. Understand different religious practices and why they exist.
  2. Appreciate why societies and culture are different through religious beliefs.
  3. Understand the role religion has played on the development of the world.
  4. Be aware of stereotypes, discrimination and persecution of people who share different religious beliefs.
  5. Become a more global citizen by understanding the impact of religion on the world.

Religions to be addressed

  • Animism
  • Buddhism
  • Christianity
  • Confucianism
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Native American Beliefs
  • Shinto
  • Sikhism
  • Taoism

Counter Belief Systems:

  • Atheists
  • Agnostics
  • Existentialism
  • Marxism
  • Transcendentalism

Essential Questions:

  1. Why do people follow religions?
  2. Is religion about blocking or creating change?
  3. Why are some groups persecuted while others are not?
  4. How do belief systems affect the actions of the individual?

To learn more about the influence of Religion and Spirituality on our global society, click on the links below:
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